The Indiana General Assembly is starting to look a little like Hollywood: When sitcom writers run out of ideas, they recycle old ones. 

    That’s what it feels like this week at the Statehouse – and, ridiculously, – in Illinois, where Democrats in the House have fled to avoid having their minority heads handed to them on a variety of votes. 

    They’ve been partially successful: The so-called “right to work” bill – which seemed to be the Democrats’ Waterloo – died when a key legislative deadline passed late Tuesday and legislative leaders said it would not be resurrected. But many other measures are still being held hostage by this tried-and-true tantrum-throwing. 

    This is at least the third time in the past 10 years that one caucus or the other has run out on its sworn duties. It’s the Democrats this time, but the Republicans have done it before, too. 

    Always, it’s the same cast of characters, led by Democratic leader Pat Bauer and the House’s top Republican, Brian Bosma. They are the longtime standard-bearers of intransigence who take turns extolling the virtues of compromise only when they’re out of the majority. 

    This time around, Bosma managed to insult history when he invoked the famous quip of Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, who replied to a German surrender demand during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II: “Nuts.” The otherwise articulate speaker, according to The Associated Press, was responding to a demand from Bauer to find some compromise. 

    Bauer, pushing the hyperbole a step further, says the Democrats won’t budge on the GOP’s “radical agenda,” according to The AP. 

    While they’re playing their little game of one-upmanship, meanwhile, important work is not getting done in the assembly. Measures such as the school funding formula and the new state budget aren’t getting the attention they deserve because the two leaders can’t get along. And let’s not forget the issue of redistricting, which must be completed in this session. 

    This plot is threadbare. Indiana’s bad actors have been carrying on for far too long. It’s time to stop grabbing the spotlight and get down to business.
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